Selling? Buying? We Asked Top Georgetown Real Estate Brokers
By February 9, 2022 0 1089•
The Georgetowner: In your view, what are the most significant trends in the Georgetown housing market for 2022?
Tom Anderson and Dana Landry, Washington Fine Properties: Given the shortage of homes for sale, houses that are priced correctly, presented properly and that are in good condition will sell quickly with multiple offers. The presentation of the property is key, as buyers are looking for properties that are renovated and in “move-in” condition. Pricing is extremely important as if the home is overpriced, it will sit and eventually sell for less. Prices will continue to rise, but not at the same rate as we saw in 2021. There is also a market for properties needing renovation with our developer pool.
Carla Labat, Managing Broker, Georgetown Long & Foster: There is an upward trend in pricing over $5M, with a paucity of inventory below $5M.
Michael Rankin, Managing Partner, Tutt, Taylor, Rankin-Sotheby’s International Realty: Demand for all price ranges is very strong, and I expect that to be consistent for the next year.
David Howell, Co-Managing Broker for McEnearney’s D.C. and Maryland offices, CIO and Executive VIP of the company: Georgetown outperformed just about every neighborhood in D.C. in 2021, and we expect more of the same in 2022. There was a 26-percent increase in the number of homes sold compared to 2020. As a whole, D.C. sales were up 12 percent. Similarly, the increase in the average sales price was double that of the city: Georgetown’s average price rose almost 10 percent, while D.C. was up 4.6 percent. Homes in Georgetown sold 20 percent faster than 2020; It was a very strong year. But the biggest story, as we’re now one month into the new year, is the lack of inventory. We’re already seeing the return of multiple offers.
Gtowner: For home buyers looking in Georgetown, what would be one major piece of advice you might give?
Labat, L&F: Prepare for higher prices and multiple offers, especially under $4M.
Anderson and Landry, WFP: It is imperative to work with an agent who is connected into the market and has advance notice of houses that are “off-market” and/or coming to the market soon. Being pre-approved by a reputable lender and being willing to pre-inspect the home so you are comfortable removing all contingencies is a necessity in today’s market.
Howell, McEnearney’s: Patience and persistence. I guess that’s really two pieces of advice! With the lack of inventory, it can be a very frustrating time for buyers, and as is true throughout the region buyers have returned to the market sooner than sellers. Be prepared to act quickly, and if you don’t succeed on the first — or second or third — attempt, remember that there will be more listings coming on the market as we edge closer to spring. Hang in there.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Have an architect who understands period homes look at the house with you so you can best understand how to do any personalization or improvements.
Gtowner: For home sellers looking in Georgetown, what would be one major piece of advice you might give?
Anderson and Landry, WFP: Again, presentation of the property is key. Working with an agent who has the knowledge and resources to prepare your home to look its best is key. Pricing the property strategically is also important in generating the most interest and in generating multiple offers.
Labat, L&F: Make sure your home is in spectacular shape to stand out with the expected increase of properties for sale in the upcoming spring market.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Have a qualified home inspection in advance of showing your house. Do any repairs a new owner would want to do.
Howell, McEnearney’s: If selling is in your plans for this year, do it sooner rather than later. Buyers are hungry for choices, and this is an exceptional time to have your home on the market. But price and condition still matter.
Gtowner: Could you give us a sense of who’s buying homes in Georgetown right now?
Howell, McEnearney’s: It’s pretty stunning that, despite an average sales price over $1,500,000, more than 40 percent of purchases are all cash. Georgetown continues to attract Washington’s power players, and those buyers are skewing younger.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Everyone who appreciates a strong sense of community and loves historic homes.
Labat, L&F: Georgetown attracts buyers from major markets across the country coming for business and Capitol Hill, along with international buyers investing in the stability of the housing market in our nation’s capital.
Anderson and Landry, WFP: Georgetown has always been an extremely popular neighborhood for buyers of all sorts. Many Georgetowners move within the Village to get more or less space or different features. Additionally, the city lifestyle in Georgetown is appealing to empty nesters coming from our neighboring suburbs.
Gtowner: Do you have any other ideas or comments you’d like to share with our readers?
Anderson and Landry, WFP: We are in unprecedented times, and it has never been a better time for our clients to sell, especially given the current low capital gains tax. Some sellers are concerned about where they will move after selling, and we have learned through experience that there are always opportunities for buyers in any market.
Howell, McEnearney’s: The lower end condo market in the District continues to be fairly sluggish, and it is the only general category of properties in the region where there is a relative balance between supply and demand. Elsewhere, there is a critical shortage of inventory. Mortgage interest rates are still near historically low levels, but they are starting to rise. As we have seen in the past when rates begin rising, buyers who have been sitting on the fence are jumping into the market before rates get too high. That exacerbates the low inventory situation, and that is why it is an incredibly good time to sell.
Rankin, TTRSIR: Washington has a lot of terrific neighborhoods. Georgetown is rich in history, culture, parks and a very strong sense of community. My family and friends love calling it home.
Labat, L&F: Georgetown has everything one would want, from architecture, to culture, to restaurants, to retail, to people watching. What more could you ask?